"Preparing for Laser Tattoo Removal: What You Need to Know"
If you're considering getting a laser tattoo removal, there are a few things you'll need to do before you go under the laser. These include:
Before any laser tattoo removal treatment, you'll need to schedule a consultation with our qualified practitioner. At Unify Skin & Laser Clinic we offer free 15 minute consultations to anyone considering laser tattoo removal prior to starting any treatments. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your goals and expectations, as well as to have your tattoo evaluated for suitability for laser tattoo removal. Its important to consider that even if you have had previous treatments with a different clinic each machine is different and the settings used by the previous practitioner won't necessarily be the same, the consultation is important with any first time session regardless of previous treatments to ensure you get the best results.
During the consultation we discuss:
Skin type and condition
Colour, age, placement and size of tattoo
How laser tattoo removal works
Pain management and levels of discomfort
Adverse side effects and expected side effects
Requirements such as full removal or fading for a coverup
Costs, sequencing of treatments and estimated number of treatments
Aftercare and treatment compliance
Once you have been fully informed and signed the consent form the treatments can begin.
Sun exposure can cause damage to the skin and can make laser tattoo removal more difficult. To protect your skin, you should avoid sun exposure within the area for at least 4 weeks before your treatment. If there is a chance of incidental sun exposure, using a broad spectrum SPF 30+ over the tattoo site will help keep the skin melanin free and ensure a safe treatment.
Similarly, you should avoid tanning beds, self-tanners, and spray tans for at least 4 weeks before your treatment. The UV rays from these sources can cause damage to the skin and make laser tattoo removal more difficult.
The laser wavelength is attracted to the target chromophore within the skin, in the case of laser tattoo removal the target chromophore is ink, the laser cannot differentiate between pigments such as ink or melanin. There is an increased risk of burns, blisters and potential adverse side effects such as scarring and infection.
Smoking before laser tattoo removal can increase the risk of complications, such as healing problems and scarring. Nicotine in cigarettes can constrict blood vessels, which can impede the healing process and make it more difficult for the tattoo ink to be removed. Additionally, the chemicals in cigarette smoke can cause inflammation in the skin, which can exacerbate any swelling or redness caused by the laser treatment. It is recommended to quit smoking at least 4-6 weeks before the laser treatment for better results and less risk of complications.
Certain medications can make the skin more sensitive to laser treatments and increase the risk of complications. These can include blood thinners, anti-inflammatory medications, and photosensitising medications. Blood thinners, such as aspirin and warfarin, can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising during and after the laser treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can also increase the risk of bleeding and may also impede the healing process. Photosensitising medications, such as antibiotics and antidepressants, can make the skin more sensitive to light, which can increase the risk of burns and other complications during the laser treatment. It is important to inform your tattoo removal practitioner of any medications you are taking before the treatment.
Get a skin test
A patch test is a small, preliminary treatment that is performed before a full laser tattoo removal session. The purpose of the patch test is to determine how the individual's skin will react to the laser treatment, and to adjust the laser settings accordingly. During a patch test, a small area of the tattoo will be treated with the laser. This will allow the practitioner to observe the reaction of the skin and make any necessary adjustments to the laser settings before performing the full treatment. Patch test also helps to see if the individual is allergic or has any other adverse reaction to the laser.
Additionally, patch test also determines the number of sessions that may be required to remove the tattoo and can give an estimate of costs and time required for full removal. This will help the individual to make an informed decision about whether to proceed with the full treatment.
It is important to note that patch test is not always necessary, but it is highly recommended for those who have sensitive skin or have had previous negative reactions to laser treatments.
By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your skin is in the best possible condition for laser tattoo removal. Keep in mind that laser tattoo removal is not a one-time treatment, it will take a series of treatments to remove the tattoo completely and the number of treatments needed will depend on the size, location, and colour of the tattoo.
BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTION
At Unify Skin & Laser Clinic we offer payment options and answer all your questions before you start your sessions. Experience does count and we want you to know you’re in safe hands.
Call: 0407 413 180 or
Click the link to book your consult or an appointment online
Author: Deborah Allen
17th January 2023